We have officially entered April, and with it into the crucial two months which will eventually decide the nation's fate for the next five years. The Lok Sabha Elections are set to begin from 11th April and shall be carried out in seven phases across the country, finally ending on 19th May.
Political parties are going all out with their candidature announcements, detailed pitches and promises for the future of the people, while rallies addressing thousands of people at a time are being conducted all around the country by every big and small party in sight.
While ministers get ready to go 'door-to-door' convincing people to vote for them and choose them as their future leader, riding on cars and buses, with ten other people taking care of their most needs and requirements throughout the campaign, there is this one particular candidate from Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar who is doing things a lot differently.
Touted to be the “poorest” candidate in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, 51-year-old Mange Ram Kashyap is giving a new spin to election campaigning with zero bank balance to fund his campaigns and literally walking up to people's doors to talk to the constituents to get the job done in order to win from his constituency.
The middle-aged Mange Ram is an advocate by profession and clad in his advocate's robes, anybody in the Muzaffarnagar court will tell you that Kashyap has been fighting all the General Elections since 2000.
If you are wondering which party he belongs to, well, Kashyap contests elections from Mazdoor Kisan Union Party which was founded by Kashyap himself in the year 2000. The party has 1000-odd members, most of them being labourers.
However, according to a TOI report, the election affidavit which he submitted states that Kashyap has no cash, jewellery or bank balance. Even his wife Babita Chauhan is said to be in no possession of cash or jewellery. However, he does own a 100 sq yard plot valued at rupees 5 lakh, a house estimated at rupees 15 lakh, and a bike worth rupees 36,000 among other assets. The affidavit states that the house was a gift from Kashyap's in-laws.
Kashyap walks from door-to-door talking to people in his constituency, understanding their concerns and promising to fight for the right causes if given a chance. Even though Kashyap has not had the good luck of winning any election yet, he continues to keep moving forward.
He decided to campaign on foot instead of riding on his bike because he cannot afford the money to purchase petrol for it very regularly. “I have a bike but I cannot afford petrol for it every day. My wife is a homemaker and we have two kids to take care of. I have tried to find other jobs but there are hardly any,” he told TOI.
However, Kashyap does not mind campaigning on foot because it allows him to really connect with people. He did the same during the last election season as well. Talking about the amount of precious money that can be saved in this process, he said, “I wonder why big politicians spend so much on campaigning when that money could be used for the welfare of people.”
His approach is fresh, and the man does not seem to be deterred by setbacks, with his eyes set only on the quest to win and work for the poor and needy. He is optimistic that things will change for him this year, and he will finally get a chance to serve people.
He is unfazed by the competition from the top parties around town and as for why he thinks he deserves this chance, it's because “voters know that politicians have not looked out for them. I will help the poor. I will propose a voter pension scheme so that no man is in want of money,” he said.
We wonder what is in store for Kashyap this time around. Only time will tell.